The list of the 10 best entrepreneurs in America includes some of the brightest minds, boldest movers and shakers, and smartest engineers, creators and innovators the country can produce. These people have changed entire industries and created millions of jobs.
- Michael Dell. Dell was buying, taking apart and putting back together computers while he was still in high school. The kid then went on to start selling reconstructed computers while in college. Today, Dell is one of the biggest computer companies in the world, making him one of the ten best entrepreneurs in America.
- Dean Kamen. Kamen is certainly one of the ten best entrepreneurs in America. While perhaps best known for inventing the Segway, he really made his mark in the medical devices area, creating the first portable dialysis machine and the iBOT stair-climbing wheelchair. He also founded the FIRST robotics competition for kids and his company, DEKA, works on advanced technologies.
- Howard Schultz. When Schultz joined Starbucks, the single store sold only coffee, tea equipment and beans. He left the company to start a store that sold espresso beverages and shortly thereafter bought the Starbucks brand to apply it to his own stores. This creative coffee thinker, one of the ten best entrepreneurs in America, launched one of the country’s biggest franchises and changed the way Americans bought and drank coffee.
- Reed Hastings. Hastings was involved in the tech industry in the 1990s but really made his mark as one of the ten best entrepreneurs in America with the founding of Netflix in 1998. Netflix’s model of a subscription-rental service with no late fees and movies delivered through the mail has been incredibly successful and has the big players in the industry, such as Blockbuster, reeling.
- Steve Jobs. Jobs was the co-founder of Apple in the 1970s. All that this little company did was introduce the personal computer to the masses with user-friendly, practical interfaces. Further cementing Jobs’ place as one of the ten best entrepreneurs in America, under his watch, Apple continues to make products that Americans quickly learn they can’t live without.
- Bill Gates. Gates founded Microsoft, which grew within a few years to perhaps one of the most important tech companies in the world. Its software powers the computers that most of the world uses. Gates’ entrepreneurial qualities allowed him to create a useful product and to position the company in the marketplace so that it has a near stranglehold.
- Peter Diamandis. Diamandis is an aeronautical expert and is perhaps best known for creating the X Prize Foundation, which offers cash prizes to anyone who can meet certain challenges. Many of these challenges are groundbreaking feats, such as $10,000 to the first private person to launch a manned craft into space twice in two weeks.
- Hugh Hefner. Hefner, one of the ten best entrepreneurs in America, is perhaps the man on this list most men would like to be. Hefner took on social mores and standards by creating a “gentlemen’s magazine” that featured pictures of nude women, among other things. “Hef” broke down barriers for the acceptance and legalization of pornography and created a legend of himself.
- and 10. Larry Page and Sergei Brin. Page and Brin created Google while students at Stanford. The program behind Google allowed these two to create a search engine that searched the web with accuracy and speed unlike any that existed at the time. The product of their entrepreneurial spirit is used by hundreds of millions every day and has even become part of the lexicon.